This is a true story of a gentleman that searched for help and thought he knew best…
This gentleman and his wife took me up on my free call. It’s the call I offer to people that are interested in becoming clients.
I could hear the problem they were in, but I wanted to go deeper with them to define a solution.
We all decided it would make sense to meet for an initial consultation to define the direction we needed to take.
This gentleman was a very successful business man and clearly knew his business very well.
Unfortunately, he had the same confidence in his marriage, but it wasn’t matched by his knowledge or his ability to be of value to her.
This misplaced confidence was going to become his downfall and he had no idea.
He knew it all
Essentially he knew best and he sat like a wise owl in their session judging proceedings.
His wife was much younger than him and was clearly not in a good place.
She spoke about her perspective on their relationship which wasn’t good, but he dismissed her feelings as too emotional and he knew she loved him.
He knew this was a phase and it would blow over all they needed was time.
I could see she loved him but was checking out as loving him was too painful for her without a connection that made sense.
Fed up of being his trophy
She was fed up with being his trophy, sure he bought her lots of great things and paraded her in front of friends at fancy events.
It was exciting at first with private jets and weekends in foreign countries.
She craved the simple things, jeans, jumpers and McDonald’s, a simple picnic by the river, everything was so formal and pressured to look and be a certain way.
Most of all she longed for his presence, his time getting to know her and connecting with her.
He used to make her laugh now he was talking down to her, advising her, coaching her, the end result she became depressed and was anxious of the future with him.
For him, she had everything and so he was convinced the problems were not that serious.
After listening to my analysis he felt my offer was too heavyweight for their problem, the solution meant he had to learn something new and he didn’t agree.
The problem was hers.
I shared with him my perspective on their problems was very different from his and I was concerned for them if they didn’t get the specialist help they clearly needed.
So their session came to a close and with a smile he confidently ignored my concerns and my offer to help them.
It was a sad moment for that couple.
A year later he was back
One year later they were back in my office, from what he was saying they had done the rounds of counsellors and therapists trying to fix her.
This time he came back unconfident and on the back-foot ready to do any program I wanted money no object.
I could see a hardness in her eyes, she wasn’t crying this time she sat motionless looking at the floor.
He spoke first. The problems we bought to you a year ago have escalated as you said it would and now we are in separate bedrooms not even speaking.
I wasn’t suprised at all.
When you have done this job for as long as I have, it’s easy to predict a couple’s future when you can see the disconnect they are in.
This gentleman was far too connected to his own interpretation of her problems and not connected at all to her emotional experience which was actually crippling for her a year ago.
They needed fast specialist help back then and sadly he didn’t agree.
I looked at her and asked her what she now wanted.
Very calmly she replied “A divorce!”
He had a chance to win her back a year ago, he thought he knew best and now she was really gone.
He wouldn’t see that a big part of their solution was in helping him become a valuable partner for her.
He wanted her to get fixed she was happy, then she wasn’t, so clearly she is the problem.
I told him he left her in that state for too long and cycling through too many people to help them just made it worse so she gave up.
She was numb enough to leave him
The last stage in anyone’s process to permanently disconnect is when they have made a decision.
She knew she couldn’t rely on him for her emotional security and she had spent the last year emotionally disconnecting so she could leave him without any emotional pain.
She was now fully numb and ready to leave, it was now too late for them.
Head in his hands he was devastated.
This was a very solvable problem he just needed help understanding her world so he could connect to it.
Every so often this client comes for help.
The lady who thought her husband was broken because he had an affair sent him off to be fixed, not understanding that she was part of the problem that lead him to feel worthless.
The gentleman who wouldn’t work on his own with me to save his marriage a year later came back as his wife had filed for divorce, he lost his chance.